Brum Night In campaigners: ‘Everyone seems to know someone who’s been spiked’

With Halloween night - one of the busiest of the year - fast approaching, campaign groups say more needs to be done to protect young people after a rise in spiking reports with a nightclub boycott planned

The organiser of the Brum Night In campaign group has said young people across the country want nightclubs to take “some degree of responsibility” to keep them safe after a surge in spiking reports across the county.

The group boycotted nightclubs in Birmingham yesterday evening to raise awareness about the issue.

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There have been concerning reports in recent weeks of young women being ‘spiked by injection’ in nightclubs - including at Popworld in Solihull.

Spiking via injection describes the act of one person spiking another, but instead of placing a pill in a drink, it is done through the use of a needle.

Hannah, a student at the University of Birmingham, said she believes young people “are very concerned” about the incidents recently and that young people could start to wonder “if and when it will happen to them”.

‘Everyone seems to know someone who has been spiked’

Hannah said she formed Brum Night In after seeing the various other ‘branches’ popping up across the country.

She said the campaign is largely dominated by students, as these are issues that “disproportionately affect students due to the culture of going out at university.”

“However, the movement is aimed at anyone of any age who goes out,” Hannah told BirminghamWorld.

“I think young women and, in fact, young people are very much concerned,” she said. “Spiking has always happened but it has been so frequently reported in the media recently - as well as on social media. This on a backdrop of discussions about gender violence and women’s safety this past year has made people hyper-aware of their safety out and about.

“I’ve heard from friends who have gone to clubs in the past week that people are discussing their safety and incidents of spiking whilst stood in queues for clubs.”

“We want clubs to take some degree of responsibility and say ‘this is what we have in place to keep you safe. Now, in response to concerns that this is not enough we are going to do x, y and z to make your experience in our clubs safer’”.

The campaign’s national demands include: prevention, welfare and support, which you can see in full in the Instagram post below.

Hannah agreed that unless these measures are implemented, young people might not feel safe going out, especially into bigger cities such as Birmingham.

“Everyone seems to know someone who has been spiked ,” she said.

“People will start to wonder if and when it will happen to them. My friends and I already have doubts about going out sometimes - how will we get home? How much is the uber? Are there any boys in our group going, because that makes us feel safer?”

Patrols to be stepped up on Broad Street for Halloween weekend

Westside BID leader Mike Olley said extra wardens and police will be on the streets in the district for Halloween night this Saturday - a night often as busy as New Year’s Eve.

He said: “We’ve never had an actual report of spiking going on in the many years I’ve worked here, but just because there are no substantiated reports it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t go on and that we are not very vigilant.

“Make no mistake all our clubs, pubs and hotels are well up to the challenge, and it’s part of running a bar responsibly.

“They all do door searches and I wouldn’t underestimate the eye of the people on the doors whether that’s the manager or door supervisor - part of running a successful bar is looking after the best interests of your customers and if they have fears and concerns then you have to live up and respond to those.

“Whether it’s myself who is a representative for the industry in the area or players in the industry of course it’s being taken seriously.”

Sheffield students are boycotting city nightclubs on Wednesday, October 27 as part of the Girls Night In protest over drink spiking and injecting

What happened at Popworld in Solihull?

Bosses at the Popworld nightclub in Solihull confirmed in a statement yesterday that they are working with West Midlands Police after the allegations about an incident being made on social media in which a woman claims she might have been spiked with a needle on Friday, October 22.

The force confirmed officers have been in touch with the victim and have arranged to take full details from her as soon as possible.

And last week, West Midlands Police confirmed it had received one report where the circumstances appear to match the description of someone being spiked by injection - although the force said ‘it’s unclear exactly what’s happened and officers are trying to speak to the woman following the incident’.

A separate drink spiking incident involving a Birmingham-based university student is also under investigation, with police receiving a ‘small number’ of reports from Birmingham city centre over the last few months.

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